Summer is here, and whether you're sweltering in Auckland or scorching in Wellington, you're going to need some way of cooling down.
If you can't make it to the beach or can't afford air conditioning, these are five of the best alternatives to stop you melting in the heat.
Get a paddling pool
If the beach is too far away, fill up a cheap paddling pool and enjoy. Plus, nothing says summer like a pool party. Crack open a cold one and pretend to be a millionaire.
Eat more chili
There's a reason the hottest countries eat the hottest food. Eating food with a lot of chili in it makes you sweat, which cools you down. The spicy peppers have a chemical called capsaicin, which acts as an irritant to your body. When you get it on your skin, the central nervous system reacts, making you feel hot, flushed and starting to sweat. Perspiration is one of the main ways our bodies keep us cool, as the evaporation of sweat carries away our heat. So don't be afraid to pour on the hot sauce this summer.
Put ice in front of your fan
If you have an electric fan, put a bowl of ice in front of it. The air surrounding the ice gets cooled down and the fan then blows the cold air towards you. The cooler air allows for more evaporation, and increases the amount of heat your body loses. It's a lot more effective than just a fan alone.
Wear cool clothing
Wear clothes that are breathable, like cotton or linen - they'll keep you cooler than polyester. If you need to wear a suit to work, go for tropical weight wool. And while wearing tight black clothing might make you look cool, you won't feel cool. Wearing light-coloured clothing helps when it's hot outside, as it reflects light, while dark-coloured clothing absorbs the light. As a result, darker colours retain more heat.
Eat little snacks
Eating large and heavy meals will increase your metabolic heat, as your body breaks down the food. Instead, try eating smaller amounts of snacks - like tapas. These delicious snacks stop you getting hungry, and help stop you feeling bloated and hot. If you're cooking your own, avoid using the stove or oven indoors. This will just add heat to your room. Instead, use a bbq outside - or prepare a cold meal.
Keep your curtains closed
Keeping your curtains closed helps to block out the heat. Setting up a shade cover over your windows will help stop the heat getting in to begin with - or you can use outdoors plants to provide more shade to your rooms. Make sure your curtains or blinds have a white back, as this will reflect the most light and keep your house cooler. Open the windows in the evening once things have cooled down - it's cheaper than using aircon.